International Travel Bounces Back at BNE in 2013

2013 proved to be another record-breaking year for Brisbane Airport (BNE) with more than 21.8 million passengers travelling through its terminals, equating to a growth rate of 1.4 per cent, or an additional 330,400 passengers, on 2012.

The greatest growth occurred in international passenger numbers which increased 4.8 per cent on 2012, or by 213,500 passengers, with domestic figures increasing 0.6 per cent, or 98,900 travellers more than the previous year.

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, attributed the growth to the continued hard work and collaboration between the BAC team and the airport’s airline, government, council, tourism and business partners.

“Brisbane continues to bloom as one of the most progressive cities in Australia and this is being driven by a community of people dedicated to attracting new businesses, opportunities, events and services to this great city and state,” Ms Alroe said.

“In 2013 a number of major events attracted many people to Brisbane and Queensland and when combined with domestic and international airlines committing additional capacity to our network and offering competitive fares, it has a direct and positive impact on visitor numbers.

“Looking ahead 2014 promises to be busier still with a number of exciting events headed our way like the G20 in Brisbane and Australian Tourism Exchange in Cairns that will most certainly attract many more visitors both domestically and internationally and shine a light on the city and state,” said Ms Alroe.

BAC has further committed $45 million to redevelop its International Terminal setting a new standard in terminal design and will complete its 2014 Master Plan later this year.

Records were broken in October when 1.5 million passengers passed through the Domestic Terminal, an increase of 12,240 on the previous monthly record.

Weekly flights increased from approx. 3,070 to 3,200 and seat capacity was up 6.3 per cent, with an additional 1.37 million seats offered to travellers throughout the year. The highest seat occupancy was on flights between BNE-Launceston and BNE-Darwin.

Ms Alroe said when comparing the figures to the previous year, when the resource industry demand was stronger, a 0.6 per cent growth rate is reflective of another challenging year for business and tourism. “The 5 per cent growth rate in 2012 can mainly be attributed to the resources boom which has eased this year.

Additionally, with overseas travel options ex-BNE increasing, the domestic figures suggest many chose to travel internationally,” said Ms Alroe.

“Domestic travel is however showing signs of recovery with our airline partners continuing to show an unwavering commitment to Brisbane by putting on additional services and increasing capacity and weekly flight frequency,” Ms Alroe continued.

“We look forward to working with our airline partners to further boost BNE’s domestic network which includes welcoming the launch of the Tigerair base in March and a number of new domestic services being introduced this year providing travellers with more choice than ever before,” Ms Alroe said.

The busiest day on record for international travel was on 22 December due to a spike in the lead up to the holiday period and international seating capacity being at its highest levels of 2013.

Monthly international passengers exceeded 400,000 six times during 2013, and a record 212,400 Australians travelled through BNE’s International Terminal in September, eclipsing the previous record by almost 10,000.

Visitor markets such as China (+10.7 per cent), Singapore (+17.8 per cent), Hong Kong (+15.8 per cent) and Indonesia (+23.5 per cent) all experienced double digit growth in 2013.

The availability of additional seating capacity (+5.3 per cent) was one of the reasons for international growth with airlines continuing to increase capacity by boosting existing services, introducing new services and upgrading aircraft.

This trend is set to continue with carriers such as Cathay Pacific, Hawaiian Airlines and Jetstar to offer additional seats in 2014, providing competitive fares and a plethora of choice and options for travellers.

Ms Alroe commended the continued dedication by the BAC team and local partners to attracting new carriers and boosting capacity to connect Brisbane to the world.

“We are always looking for new opportunities for Brisbane Airport and striving to forge strong partnerships with airlines and tourism groups to expand our network and make our airport one of the world’s most connected,” said Ms Alroe.

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